Top 20 tips for UK citizens travelling to India


Are you a UK citizen, planning to visit India for vacation or business? Read these tips every traveller from UK to India should know.

Here are some travel tips for the people visiting India. Whether you are a UK citizen or simply travelling from UK to India, these tips may come handy when you plan your trip from UK to India.

tips for travellers to india from uk

1. Get yourself an Indian SIM card as using your UK network will get expensive, with calls around £1.49 per minute (depending on your provider). Not everyone likes to travel with a phone but if you're on a day trip with a group, or you have a driver, it's always handy to have a phone on you just in case your plans change.

2. Don't just stick to international hotel chains as there are some great Indian hotel groups and heritage hotels, which offer wonderful hospitality and service, great food and modern facilities. But do your research and take advice from a good travel agent as what you see in a picture isn't always what you get – always ask for a picture of the bathroom!

3. Travelling between locations in Indian tends to take longer than the same distance would in the UK, so consider that when planning a journey. Additionally, some hotels are very remote which is fine if that's what you want, but you may feel isolated and it makes popping out for a bit of retail therapy a bit more tricky.

4. Many of the hotels in India don't have alcohol licences, which can make drinking alcohol difficult. There are 'booze' shops available, but they are scarce and often a male domain, so check with your driver/host before visiting a shop. Often it's a good idea to pick up a few bottles of your chosen tipple in duty-free on the way!

5. Get involved! If you stay in hotels such as the CGH Earth or Xandari hotel groups, there are some great experiences to get involved with and immerse yourself in Indian culture, from saree dressing to papermaking and village walks; and most activities are free. Staff are so friendly and really want to share their culture and history. Just ask at reception and they will be happy to help.

6. Take lightweight linen or cotton trousers and tops for comfort and convenience. The dress code in India tends to be casual smart but generally conservative. If you start your trip in Cochin (a city in the southern state of Kerala) there will be opportunities to purchase some great value items. A scarf is also handy for covering up, especially if you plan to visit temples.

7. Make sure you have a good pair of trainers, which will be perfect for the great walks and treks.

8. Go with the flow. Plates may be cleared away a bit too quickly or your morning tea may take a while to arrive, it's just the way it is.

9. Make sure you take some of your favourite music with you. The beauty of India is best enjoyed against a soundtrack of your favourite tunes.

10. Take tips from your guides/local staff on what and where to eat. Indian food is amazing and meat eaters will be blown away by the incredible vegetarian dishes on offer. If you've done a bit of research and you know where you're eating is reputable be sure try everything and be adventurous! And don't just stick to international chains and well-known restaurants, there are incredible gems to be discovered if you listen to locals and travel insiders.



11. Have some low-value notes to hand for tips for tips. It's not necessarily expected in India but it's always welcome. However, some of the hotels do discourage giving tips to individuals and have a tips box at reception so they can be distributed fairly.

12. If you're staying in a scenic location (and there are so many!) wake up early – listen to the birds, watch the fishermen going about their work and just enjoy the tranquil stillness.

13. Take essentials with you. Items such as mosquito repellent, suntan lotion and hand sanitizers are available but you may have difficulty finding the brands you like. It's also a good idea to take a torch, particularly if you're staying in a homestay or in secluded accommodation.

14. Go with an open mind and a willingness to learn. South India is home to some mind-blowing temples and monuments that date back to the 7th century, not to mention some of the most awe-inspiring natural landscapes and rich and diverse ecology. Explore it all. Kerala is also leading the way in eco-tourism and there are lots of opportunities to learn about sustainability initiatives and organic farming. Book yourself onto a plantation walk or a cooking demonstration to learn more about food production and turning wonderful natural ingredients into gorgeous meals.

15. The centrepiece of any trip to Kerala is a trip on a private houseboat along the backwaters. Dine and sleep in elegant luxury as you cruise along the tropical and tranquil Keralan waterways.

16. Many of the hotels do not offer televisions in rooms in a conscious effort to get their guests to engage more with what the hotel has to offer and the local surroundings. WiFi is normally available in good hotels (except on houseboats) so if you do envisage issues with a lack of digital entertainment, either check the hotel's offering first or take some downloaded entertainment with you.

17. If you're travelling as a couple, family or group a private trip, as opposed to a group experience, is recommended. It will give you the flexibility to change your itinerary, for instance, you may require a later start one morning, or want frequent stops to see local markets, and to take pictures of the amazing scenery.

18. Always take the local currency- it will work out cheaper for you.

19. Barter, and don't be shy about it. An average of 35% off the original price is the general recommendation. Get stuck in and have some fun with it!

20. Learn to fall in love again. Go with an open heart and share and delight in the warmth and friendship which is on offer from the Indian people. It's a truly special place.

If you'd like to learn more about the tours and experiences on offer from Authentic India Tours visit www.authenticindiatours.com.

About Author:


Angela Coyle is the Head of Group Marketing at Authentic India Tours; a travel company that provides bespoke tours and experiences of Kerala in southern India. Here she shares her personal top tips for enjoying the dream holiday in India.


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